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9 Technologies That Improve Long-Term Care

medical technology concept - charts, laptop, stethoscope, and tablet with live medical stats

Many healthcare facilities provide long-term care. The most common tend to be senior living facilities and assisted living facilities. Between residents and patients, staff, visitors, and more, there are a lot of people to protect and keep safe. There have been a lot of improvements over the years that go beyond wireless internet, electronic records, and other technologies that have become standard. Here are a few technologies that improve long-term care:

1. Wander Management Solutions

Wandering and elopement are common security concerns for assisted living facilities and can pose a serious risk to residents and patients. Good access control systems and visitor management solutions can help cut down on unauthorized entries and exits, but these systems don’t do much more than that to address wandering or provide resident locating.

This is one of the reasons why you need wander management in addition to access control. Good wander management solutions have comfortable wearables that don’t irritate residents, have resident locating, and also integrate with access control systems at a minimum.

Not only do wander management systems protect residents, empower caregivers, and improve staff efficiency, but it also allows a resident more freedom to move freely within authorized areas of a facility without worry of elopement risk or danger. Additionally, with resident locating, caregivers and staff can monitor residents at risk of wandering or elopement and also quickly identify where residents are in case of emergencies. These are all things that can help you develop an effective wander prevention plan.

2. Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS)

In addition to resident locating in wander management systems, real-time locating systems are beneficial to long-term care in other ways as well. When integrated into other systems and devices, it can be used to track staff, visitors, etc. for security. These are some of the useful applications of video surveillance solutions.

There are also several benefits of effective asset management in healthcare and RTLS can help improve efficiencies in this area too. It can be used to monitor populations across a facility overall and to monitor secure areas to prevent unauthorized access. It can also be used to track equipment and inventory as part of an asset tracking or environmental monitoring system, and more.

3. Nurse Call Systems

Nurse call systems improve patient safety, improve response times, increase productivity, and more. Between fixed stations and mobile wearables, residents can maintain some freedom and independence while also being able to call for help when they need it.

Nurse call systems improve long-term care on the staff side as well. Provided the essential components of a nurse call system are there, teams can have specific standards and customizations for alerts and notifications.

Staff can monitor, prioritize, claim, resolve, etc. calls on the go, which helps decrease response times and increase efficiency. Choosing the best nurse call system for your facility can make a big difference for staff and patients.

4. Acute Care Engagement Solutions

Acute Care Engagement Solutions (ACES) brings clinical, patient, and virtual room engagement solutions into a single integrated and comprehensive platform. ACES compiles all relevant data and communications and displays it in real-time to the appropriate end user whether they are patients, visitors, or staff.

In addition to streamlining staff, patient, and public engagement and ensuring the right information is displayed to the right people, ACES also increases efficiencies to give countless hours back to nurses, improves overall patient care, and more to help provide better outcomes. These are some of the benefits of Acute Care Engagement Solutions and how they can improve and revolutionize patient care.

5. Fall Monitoring Technology

Falls can cause serious injuries and are another common concern in assisted living and senior living. Fall monitoring is one of the technologies that improve long-term care. Not only do these devices and systems alert staff for assistance and get the resident help faster, but they can also send proactive alerts when a high risk of fall is detected to attempt to prevent the fall in the first place.

Fall monitoring technology can usually be integrated with other systems like nurse call systems to become even more effective. It is even integrating with video surveillance and artificial intelligence to visually detect fall risk and alert staff. This is how AI is helping to predict and prevent senior falls and how enhancements in fall monitoring improve long-term care.

6. Visitor Management Solutions

Access control is essential for visitor management and should be part of the security for any assisted living, senior living, healthcare, etc. facility. Elements of good visitor management solutions in these facilities also often need to go beyond simple access and also monitor for illness.

Illnesses can wreak havoc on high-risk populations and are dangerous to residents in these facilities. In addition to monitoring entries and exits, temperature screening and other access control solutions during a pandemic can help reduce and prevent outbreaks of illness in these facilities.

7. Automated Medication Reminders

Taking medication on time and at the right dosage is important, but can quickly become dangerous if doses are accidentally doubled or if too many doses are missed. Depending on each person and the medications they are prescribed, there are technologies available to help track and automate medication reminders.

Apps can integrate with specific systems to schedule alerts and reminder alarms when it’s time to take medication, check in with a primary caregiver or staff member, perform specific therapeutic activities, and more.

There are also pill identification tools to help differentiate, track, and alert when there are multiple prescriptions. There are even automated pill bottles that are programmed to alert and unlock on a set schedule to help prevent accidental doses or missed doses.

Many of these tools and systems can also integrate with monitoring systems on the facility side. Not only does this allow staff to customize and individualize care for residents, but it also provides more tools for them to further improve long-term care and processes in place.

8. Videoconferencing and Virtual Reality Headsets

Videoconferencing tools can help residents keep in touch with family that may be far away or connect with other friends or other people to socialize. This can help improve mental health and perhaps, even improve physical health as well.

Virtual reality headsets can be used to provide games and exercises to help prevent cognitive decline. Glasses or headsets with assistive or VR technology can help magnify and zoom in on things or provide other assistance to people with vision impairments.

There may also be a case for using it to help reduce anxiety or manage pain in seniors with dementia in particular. A calming beach scene or other relaxing, calming experience could assist in distracting and reducing sensory overload in patients to help avoid potentially violent outbursts. Not only can this help reduce stress and benefit the patient, but it may also help reduce and prevent workplace violence in healthcare.

In addition to these things, games, exercises, other interactions, extra activities, etc. can reduce boredom. Boredom is one of the common causes of wandering in senior living communities. Not only can these technologies improve resident well-being overall, but they can also help reduce the risk of wandering, elopement, and other dangers.

9. Biosensors

Another one of the emerging technologies that improve long-term care is biosensors. Although there are several biometrics currently available, many advanced options are still in efficacy testing, but the future is promising. These are sensors that are meant to be installed on personal items or other items in a resident’s room to track specific things.

For example, biosensors could be attached to socks to monitor for swelling in a resident’s legs or feet. Depending on the biosensor, there could be options to place them in a toilet to monitor chemicals and track changes in urine, biosensors meant to be attached to a person to monitor blood chemistry, insulin levels, etc., and more.

Get the Technology Your Healthcare Facility Needs

These are just a few technologies that improve long-term care. They are often essential systems in healthcare security solutions because of the benefits they provide to patients, residents, caregivers, staff, etc.

Getting the right mix of security products and care solutions for your facility and operations is essential. Choosing the right security system integrator can help you get the comprehensive systems and coverage you need. Contact NEPPS at 800-736-1456 to schedule a free site assessment.